Page:Mars - Lowell.djvu/178

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bodily down, to begin again its Sisyphus-like, inconclusive spiral climb.

Often as this rhumb line must have been noticed, no explanation of it has ever, to my knowledge, been given. Yet so singular an arrangement points to something other than chance. Suspicion of its non-fortuitous character is strengthened when it is scanned through a bigger glass. Increase of aperture discloses details that help explain its significance. With sufficient telescopic power, the continuity of the dark belt is seen to be broken by a series of parallel peninsulas or semi-peninsulas that jut out from the lower edge of the belt, all running with one accord in a southeasterly direction, and dividing the belt into a similar series of parallel dark areas. Such oblong areas are the Mare Tyrrhenum, the Mare Cimmerium, the Mare Sirenum, and those unnamed straits that stretch southeasterly from the Aurorae Sinus, the Margaritifer Sinus, and the Sabaeus Sinus. The islands and peninsulas trending in the same direction are Ausonia, Hesperia, Cimmeria, Atlantis, Pyrrhae Regio, Deucalionis Regio, and the two causeways from the Fastigium Aryn and Hammonis Cornu. It will further be noticed that these areas lie more nearly north and south as they lie nearer the pole, and curve in general to the west as they approach the equator.